Seoul Living: Korean Visa Alphabet

Getting a visa in Korea can be a very scary, frustrating, and confusing process in Korea. Korea recently changed up the regulations for getting visas in Korea so getting an E-2 visa can be tedious with going through criminal checks, getting diplomas, transcripts and other things.

Oh, and tomorrow we will have Joe Waller who has been a recruiter for many years and he has a tremendous amount of knowledge on the subject. Be sure to message us questions you would like answered or you can call us tomorrow at 02 778 1013.

Today I wanted to go over the different Visa categories and I have decided to do this in the form of a song.

Are you ready?
Sung to the tune of Old McDonald:
Young John Finkle came to Korea ABCDE
And in Korea, he tried to get a Visa FGHME
With a diploma check here and a criminal check there, a here a check there a check everywhere a check, check.
Young John Finkle got a visa ABCDE

(Pause) Fine. I won’t torture you anymore with my horrible voice. Good thing I’m on radio or you would be able to see my red face.

Korea has 36 different visa types that are each designated with a letter and a number. The letters range from A-H and then it skips to M. Each letter designates a different type of visa.

For example lets take the A visa. There are three types. A-1, A-2, and A-3. You get an A-1 visa if you are a diplomat, an A-2 if you are a government official, and an A-3 if you are part of a treaty.

The B-visas are special exemption visas and there are only two types: B-1 and B-2. B-1 means you are exempt from a visa and B-2 means you have a pass without a visa.

Now I’ll go through the different categories of visas.

C visas, which range from C-1 to C-4 are short term visas reserved for short term business guests, employees, and tourists. If you are a tourist to Korea, you’ll get a C-3 visa. Now there are some countries that are exempt from getting a visa. Canada has a 6-month tourist visa and Australia and USA have a 90-day.

D-visas are for students and investors. If you have a whole lot of money, like 50 million, then you can apply and get a D-8 visa. If you want to study at a Korean University, you can get a D-2 visa.

E visas are probably what many of you have and they are reserved for teachers, consultants, and entertainers. Many Koreans refer to this as the Weiguk visa. I think that E-2s are the most common and its title is “English Conversation Teacher.” So if you are being asked to teach math or Spanish, fold laundry, cook, or do anything like that- stop. Just teach conversation. E-1 visas are for professors and E-6 are Entertainer visas. Usually these visas are single entry, so that means that if you are going to travel outside of the country, you need to go to your immigration office and change it to a multiple entry visa. The last time I checked, the fee was around 70,000 won.

You don’t want to get to the airport for your trip to Thailand and find out that you can’t get back into the country.

F-visas are resident visas or for overseas Koreans. If you are married to a Korean or if you have been here for over two years, you can get this visa. These have fewer job restrictions. For example, you can quit a job when you want and not get kicked out of the country. Also they need to be renewed every two years, instead of just one.

A G visa is just a special category and I don’t have any information on it. I guess if you’re James Bond, you’d get this super secret visa.

H-2 visas are working holiday visas and they are 5-year visas and they are for overseas Koreans that could be from China, Russia, and other countries. Getting this visa is quite competitive because preference is given to those that are proficient in communicating in Korean.

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